The Second Annual Wrestling Shame Hall of Shame

Wow, has it been a year? It has! It's time for our Second Annual Hall of Shame! Here we celebrate the shameful legacy of professional wrestling in all its forms. Need to catch-up? Check out our Inaugural Class here and our special summer exhibits of Shameful WCW Themes and Shameful WWE themes!

And remember to stop by the gift shop on your way out! And why not become a member of the Hall of Shame for the low-low price of $100.00 for one year! You'll get....uh....a mug? Maybe a pin? Oh, and you'll get a cool membership card where you get discounts at Merv's House of Waffles. Remember, "If It's Not Merv's, They Ain't Waffles!"

Also, for those eagle-eyed readers out there, yes, we've changed our top photo. Let's just say there was something wrong with it.....hmm. Not sure if you can catch it.

Those responsible for this have been sacked.

Shameful Booking: Bret Hart in WCW.

Ho boy. Ho boy.

We almost didn't include this in our list this year because it falls on the tragic-end of the shameful spectrum. A lot of this storyline was complicated by Owen Hart's death and Bret's own injury problems. Nevertheless, in the fall of 1997 WCW had a wrestler who was just screwed-out of the championship of the rival company and....well, let's just say it was underwhelming at best.

If you need a fresher of this booking, check out Wrestling With Wregret's great overview above.

For starters, you have the botched-introduction of Bret at Starcade 1997. Then you have him joining / not-joining the NWO. Then you have him getting nearly kicked-out of his skull by Goldberg. Then you have him joining NWO 2000. Then....You know what: this is too depressing.

Shameful Wrestler: Brutus Beefcake

I don't think I can adequately overview Brutus Beefcake's career in a short paragraph or two, but I think you would be hard-pressed to find a wrestler of his fame who had more whacky-story-lines and gimmicks. Who can forget his tag-team work with Hulk Hogan against Randy Savage and Zeus post-No Holds Barred? Or his feud with the Honky Tonk Man where George "The Animal Steele" in drag helped Beefcake? Not ringing a bell? What about the Mega-Maniacs? The Butcher in the The Three Faces of Fear? (Gosh, I need to write about that: WCW in the early '90s was freaking-crazy). If that doesn't work for you, I could remind you of The Zodiac in the Dungeon of Doom or The Booty Man. And that's not even mentioning The Disciple.

So, to be blunt, the man had a lot of hats in his career. And the vast majority of them alternated between legit and goofy-shameful: Beefcake would gain some legitimacy with one gimmick, and then be punted into a comedy role in short-order. Part of his longevity was because of his life-long friendship with Hulk Hogan, but I suppose we can also give him credit for a willingness to embrace newer, weirder, and crazier roles throughout his career.

Plus, it was on one of his barber-shop segments where Shawn Michaels turned on Marty Jannetty.

Shameful Match: HHH vs Sting at Wrestlemania

We've written about this before. But it bears repeating that this match was awful and did no one any favors. Even if you are a fan of this match, ask yourself this: does any element of this match make any sense? Why are Sting and HHH fighting over the legacy of WCW? Why is the WWE so obsessed with WCW -- a company they put out of business in 2001? Why does HHH need a Terminator entrance? Why does anyone care about DX in 2015? Why is the NWO coming down to help Sting? And why does HHH have to put himself over here?

I actually think I have answers to these questions, and once the semester is over for me I'm going to delve into them in a post. But for now, god this match is uber-shame.

Shameful Legacy Match: King of the Road Match

I'm stretching the concept of "legacy" match here a bit admittedly (last year, we inducted the weird Shark Cage Match), but this match between Dustin Rhodes and Blacktop Bully just begs to be included.

This was the opening match from 1995's WCW Uncensored in Tupleo, MS, and it came at a weird time for the company. In 1994 and early 1995, they were trying to balance "family-friendly" entertainment with a "harder" edge to their storylines and matches. But after some brutal Nasty Boys matches and the "Ric Flair is dead?" hotline promo, Ted Turner ordered the company go PG.

The premise of this match is one of the men has to ring a bell at the edge of the flatbed while moving at "55 miles per hour" down a highway. The match basically consists of them stumbling through hay for about 15 minutes while occasionally punching each other. Kudos to the announcers as Bobby Heenan provides some great zingers, and Tony Schiavone's repeated line of "the WCW helicopter" kills me every time.

Another element to the shame of this match is the actual bout was nearer 25 minutes long, but had to be edited down to 13 because both wrestlers bladed and drew blood which allegedly lead to their firing (although some sources suggest that WCW management was actually being forced to cut spending dramatically and this was a convenient excuse).

Shameful Promo: Suffering Succotash

I honestly had never seen this promo until I starting writing this post. Sure it's bad because of the "suffering succotash" line, but it's also bad because both Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are terrible here. I've seen community theatre actors say their lines more effectively.


CM Punk could get away with acknowledging the fourth-wall in a Marx Brothers / Simpsons-esque manner. Roman --- sigh --- girl, what are you doing?

Shameful Entrance Music: "American Made"

Last summer, many of you visited our special exhibit "Shameful WCW Theme Songs." Thanks for visiting -- by the way, merchandise is now 15 percent off -- and a lot of you asked why we didn't include "American Made" in the exhibit. To be fair, we meant to include it but we were afraid of being sued by Hogan. In any event, here it is. It's shameful because not only are the lyrics cheesy, but also it's a blatant rip-off of "Real American" from WWF (which incidentally wasn't supposed to be Hogan's theme song originally).

I still argue Rick and I should use a version of this song for the theme for our podcast.

Next year, I swear.

Shameful Fan: Beach Ball Fans

Any fan who brings a beach ball to a WWE event has now made the Hall of Shame. You do not get a jacket, ring, or your bust in our Hall.

Shameful Pop Culture Event: The Wrestler (1974)

One of the new categories we've added this year, the Shameful Pop Culture Event is meant to recognize those moments where wrestling has failed at crossing-over with mainstream popular culture. And this year's inductee is 1974's The Wrestler -- a terrible film that focuses on Verne Gagne's AWA. If you've never seen this film, the premise is....well, let's let Wikipedia do our work here:

"Professional wrestling promoter Frank Bass (Ed Asner) has to deal with the pressures of running a professional wrestling promotion, facing the pressures of constantly finding new wrestlers to pull in the crowds, keeping the wrestlers he has under contract under control and especially dealing with the fact that the top man, the champion of "the League" Mike Bullard (Verne Gagne) is getting old and there is pressure to replace him with a younger wrestler. One such possible replacement is the latest challenger Billy Taylor (Billy Robinson). At one point Bass meets with a number of other wrestling promoters (played by real life wrestling promoters from the National Wrestling Alliance, including Vincent J. McMahon) to possibly create a "Super Bowl of Wrestling." Facing pressure Frank Bass decides to back Bullard as he faces the challenger Billy Taylor in the climax of the movie.

The resulting film is an odd combination of a kayfabe world where wrestling is completely legitimate -- mobsters think they can influence of the outcome of matches for gambling purposes --- and where wrestling is seemingly a joke: there's an extended sequence where Dusty Rhodes gets into a bar-fight with Japanese mobsters (I think? I saw the movie drunk, so my memory is fuzzy). The film is, in essence, really an excuse to put-over Verne Gagne (because of course it is), but it's a fascinating (if boring) study of professional wrestling during the early 1970s. Also, it's pretty shameful. 

Shameful Merch:

Another new category this year. And yes, we ARE putting-ourselves over here. What can we say? We've spent way too much time thinking about Verne Gagne and HHH.

It's available at:

Shameful Debut / Entrance: "Fake" Razor Ramon and Diesel 

In 1996, I was a teenager working concessions of the Hersheypark Arena, the former home of the AHL's Hershey Bears. And as an avid wrestling fan, I was thrilled to get to work one night in September when the WWF held Monday Night Raw live at our arena.

After my shift ended around 9pm, I found my friend Scott sitting in the stands, and he filled me in that a bunch of ECW guys had "invaded" the arena and had been chased-out by security. As I sat by him, Jim Ross completed the promo above, and Razor Ramon entered the arena...

Only, Razor Ramon was in WCW.

And that clearly wasn't Razor Ramon.

And the crowd was --- confused? Bewildered? Silent?

By now, most everyone is aware of Vince McMahon's idea to replace Scott Hall and Kevin Nash -- formerly Razor Ramon and Diesel respectively -- with two different wrestlers playing the characters because the WWF still owned the copyrights on said characters. Part of their end game was to sue WCW (it's complicated) but I'm still not sure of their end-game here (to be honest, I'm not sure what their end-game is most of time). But these debuts went over about as well as the Shockmaster.

Fake Diesel and Razor Ramon are bizarre, weird, and wonderfully shameful.

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